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Triumphal advance of the felines

The number of cats is growing quickly. The increase in sales of cat products is greater in many countries than in sales of most other pet categories.
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Download: Triumphal advance of the felines (PDF-File)In France, the pet product market has been recording only minimal growth in the last few years. Where would it be without the cat! In 2008, sales of food for cats grew by a hefty 4.9 per cent compared with the previous year. By contrast, sales of dog food grew by only 2.6 per cent in the same period.This is no isolated case, either: the cat is making conquests in most countries of the world. There are many reasons for this trend. Cats are easier to care for, don't take up as much time as dogs and on average don't eat as much either. For single people in particular, who don't have time to walk a dog around the block regularly, cats are the ideal pet. They're extremely cuddly and also a great source of comfort to a stressed-out owner. Another important aspect is that they don't require anything like as much space as dogs. While felines are quite content to live in a small apartment, such accommodation is no good for large dogs. One consequence of this is that more densely populated countries usually have a greater number of cats.Moist food dominatesEven if considerable differences exist between countries when it comes to feeding cats, uniform trends can be discerned. In most countries cats are fed moist food: in the UK moist food accounts for a share of 80 per cent, while in Germany and Italy it accounts for 67 per cent. Although sales of dry food for cats are growing in some countries, little has changed regarding this market structure in itself. This is due to the fact that moist cat food is the preserve of the strongest distribution channel in most countries, the supermarkets, while dry food is sold above all by the speciality trade. However, the Romanian market bucks this trend. In this south-east European country moist food accounts for a share of "only" 40 per cent, while dry food has a share of 59 per cent. In contrast to most other countries, though, sales of moist cat food are growing faster than those of dry food: 38 per cent for moist food compared with 16 per cent for dry food.For a long time, moist food for cats was sold primarily in tins, but a marked change has taken place in the trend in recent years. Innovative forms of packaging that satisfy the increased demand among consumers for convenience, for example the stand-up pouch, have become increasingly widespread. Tray products continue to enjoy popularity. There seems to be no limit to the wide diversity of the moist food range, something…
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